- Jun 22, 2012
I think you describe exactly the scenario where the dining plan is probably not the best fit. You would likely spend the same as or even less than the plan by just ordering what you want. I rarely didn't order what entitlements I had on the dining plan because I also felt as though I should order what is included, I just didn't necessarily eat the entire portion and for me, that is not a waste of money. Had I consistently skipped the appetizer, dessert or alcoholic beverage, then I agree, that would be a waste.I can't wait to hear how it went for you.
I'm lucky in that I have a good amount of discretionary income. I don't have a "budget" for my food. I just do what I want to do. And while I do have financial comfort, I can't just willy-nilly "waste" money. Maybe that's why I'm in a good financial position, I don't know. But nothing burns me more than "wasting" money. Not spending, but wasting. So when I did get the dining plan, I was very concerned with getting the financial value out of it that I paid into it. I felt that not getting the value out of it was financially irresponsible.
So I spent a lot of time ensuring we ordered the items that would get us to match our value or exceed it. So I did end up getting dessert when I normally wouldn't. I did end up getting a steak when I might have wanted the cheapo chicken or pasta dish. Because if I didn't do that, I would have lost. One thing I will say is that we are not doing character meals. If we had done a couple of those, I believe I could have relaxed on the other meals because they would have more than made up for any deficits.
I am anxious to see how it goes going 100% out of pocket because I have a feeling I was ordering more/differently on the plan then I'm thinking I did. I think it will be a good experiment that will help me in making the dining plan or not decision for future trips. Mostly I'm just really anxious to leave for my trip!